Call for enforcing old anti-FGM law

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- A symposium preparing a strategy to prevent girls' circumcision or female genital mutilation in Sudan has recommended the enforcement of a law that was enacted in 1946 to eliminate the painful practice.
Besides banning the cutting of clitorises, the widely neglected law envisaged the imprisonment of people carrying out the circumcision.
The licenses of health cadres can also be withdrawn if found guilty of carrying out FGM.
The symposium co-organised by the state-run Legal Reform Institute and UNICF from 16-18 April also stressed the need to create an effective mechanism to enforce the law.
"A careful follow up of the 1946 law and carefully designed enlightenment programmes can help end the practice," the institute said in a statement issued in Khartoum on Thursday.
"People should be taught that circumcision is unlawful and should also beware that circumcision violates the international child rights treaty for which Sudan is signatory," it added.
The Institute urged citizens as well as local authorities everywhere in Sudan to assume the duty of fighting the practice by reporting offenders to the judiciary.
FGM is common in most parts of Sudan and 26 other African countries.

19 april 2001 16:44:00

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